England seamer Stuart Broad insists he has every confidence his side can salvage a draw from the second Test against India despite the debilitating loss of two late wickets in Visakhapatnam.
Skipper Alastair Cook and fellow opener Haseeb Hameed shared a 75-run stand in 50 overs to stall and deflate India, although both fell during the latter stages of the day to leave England 87-2.
India had earlier been dismissed for 204 in their second innings, as Broad and leg-spinner Adil Rashid claimed four wickets apiece, to leave England with a notional victory target of 405, or, more realistically, five sessions to survive.
The loss of Hameed and then Cook with four balls of the day’s play remaining represented a huge blow to the tourists on an otherwise positive day, although Broad is refusing to accept a 1-0 series deficit is a foregone conclusion.
“Cook’s dismissal was a bit of a shame but I think if you offered us two down after 60 overs on the afternoon of day four on that pitch, we’d have taken that,” said Broad.
“It was a great toss to win a few days ago and the pitch has deteriorated and cracked, but it’s not doing anything horrific so we’ve certainly got a chance.
“It was annoying to lose that wicket in the last over but we’ve got a lot of batting in the team and hopefully someone gets stuck in.”
England claimed India’s final seven wickets for the concession of just 87 as Broad and Rashid starred, and then Cook and Hameed produced a calm and obstinate retaliation, reaching 50 in 37.1 overs – the country’s slowest half-century opening stand since 1998.
Hameed was trapped in front by Ravi Ashwin, having consumed 144 deliveries for his 25, while Cook’s departure to Ravi Jadeja for a stoic 54 gave India’s victory charge added impetus.